The distributed ledger system that supports blockchain technology has lately caught the interest of Wall Street. The power for disruption in the financial system and beyond that is becoming more strong with each passing day. The potential that blockchain holds is high ranging from cross border payments to settlements to clearing over the counter derivatives. To many, the leader in this space is Ethereum and the aim of this crypto is to establish a new protocol for creating Dapps. Today we will discuss Ethereum Whisper.
This is one of the important protocols of Ethereum. To avoid complicating this matter, we will first illustrate the idea of “blockchain protocol” and then we will get into the subject.
Evaluating The Protocols In The Blockchain Sector
A protocol is a group of processes or rules that regulate data transfer between two or more electronic devices in computer science. This protocol creates the exact data organization required for computers to operate. Specifically, protocols command how every side sends and receives data.
The idea of “protocol” first came when blockchain technology was not even an abstract notion. To this date, for instance, HTTPS is a famous internet protocol. Concerning the blockchain space, protocols plan how all the system nodes operate. We can view a protocol as a book that has the “blockchain game” rules.
What Is Ethereum Whisper And Why Is It Important?
The whole idea of the Ethereum Whisper communication protocol navigates around three objectives:
- Offering users with a flexible system
- Releasing a secure communication channel on Ethereum
- most crucially, guaranteeing the anonymity of the users online.
If you are accustomed enough to how blockchain operates, you will know how convenient it is to track transactions in this space. You do not require to be among the counterparties associated with the operation to receive information on the movement.
Ethereum Whisper goes in a whole varied direction. Whisper covers the content of messages and also the identities of receivers and senders from observers. The system depends on a double layer of data encryption. Ethereum Whisper Swarm is a decentralized communication protocol and a decentralized storage platform respectively, being developed by Ethereum developers.
Symmetric encryption enables transmitting one-to-many communications using a single decryption and encryption key. The recipients of a text can decrypt the text sent to them.
Asymmetric encryption associates public keys for encryption and the private keys for decryption. When engaging in communication with another person, the system avails this type of encryption.
Of course, because of the stiff connection with Ethereum, all users already have public or private key pairs. This mechanism allows the use of the fully encrypted architecture that we have stated above.
More Details On Whisper
The RLPx transport protocol suite, which manages the communication between nodes in Ethereum, caters as the foundation of this system. While the aim of the protocol is low latency, it is not a great solution for real-time communication. Ethereum Whisper has bandwidth limits as an outcome of the fact that it is a broadcast protocol at its core.
The maximum size of a text cannot cross 64Kb, but most communications are far smoother and lighter in comparison to that. As in many famous IM apps, messages on Ethereum Whisper have a time-to-live (or TTL). In other terms, they self-destruct after a specific amount of time.
Along with that, whisper messaging is allocated a time-to-live (TTL), which implies they expire after a specific period. The tricky dimension of Ethereum Whisper remains in its transmission process. The famous PoW (Proof of Work) mechanism is among the ones that still govern the distribution of messages. As many know, PoW is a relatively costly mechanism that the latest blockchains are trying to avoid.
Looking Inside An Ethereum Whisper Message
After a theoretical illustration, you may be excited to learn about the actual framework of a Whisper message. Every communication in this framework follows a hard scheme:
- Version: This is the version number of the protocol. The data enables the system to differentiate between varied decryption formats that messages can avail.
- Data: The content of the communication is the only part of the message that travels through encryption.
- TTL (time to live): As we quickly illustrated, the TTL is the amount of time that is left to the message. Ethereum Whisper illustrates this field in seconds.
- Expiry: A UNIX timestamp that indicates when a message has attained its expiration date.
- Topic: A field that can be used to indicate whether or not a message is “of interest” to the node getting it.
- EnvNonce: A number that aids the PoW mechanism to evaluate whether the system has already accepted the work.
- AESNonce: The outcome of the combination of the symmetric encryption system and the key. The AESNonce is always a unique number, which enhances the security of the network.
The decentralized enhancement of the Web 3.0 (or World Wide Web) is the next big technological trend. The notion is to replace centralized online applications with decentralized applications. These tools operate on a trusted P2P (peer-to-peer) network, the blockchain, that is altering our lives.
In this respect, Ethereum Whisper is nothing but one of the primary pieces of a complicated puzzle. This article offered information on this popular protocol without too many technical details.